If you listen close enough you can hear the sound of those working in the mines. The rugged and bravest of men whom crush their fears in hopes of becoming rich. Coal mining don’t get you anywhere though, that’s what my Ma used to tell me. Pa was a doctor said there was more harm than good in it. Said their lungs would become coated in the black dust from the coal.
Pa said that the doctors in the cities gave it a name. Coalworker’s pneumoconiosis or something like that. Said it happened when the workers inhaled too much coal dust causing it to build up in the lungs and can’t be removed from the body.
But there was something different about him. From the way he walked and talked about the mines. Pulled me out by the scruff of my neck when I tried to sneak in. He didn’t look much older than me so I told him if he could go into the mines why couldn’t I go? He just glared at me with those emotionless grey eyes before turning around to walk with a brunet woman. Threatened that if I ever tried it again he’d send to have me Corrected.
Everybody knows that when you go to be Corrected your never the same. My sister Mikasa was sent to be Corrected- her smile and flare for living disappeared when Pa was able to get her out.
It wasn’t until much later that I learned that the people whom go down into that dark and scary part of the Earth are bad people. They did bad things and that’s the Government’s way of punishing them.
I cannot help but think back to the boy with those emotionless grey eyes whom did not look much older than me. I wondered why he was there… what crime did he commit to be sent down into a place where a man would not be able to know if he would go to Heaven or Hell?
I just remember wishing I could help him- to see a smile on his face.